Can you give tips on how to write Lance as a bilingual latinx character? I dont want to seem racist if i portray him in a certain way
Yeah for sure! I originally had this typed out but I backspaced accidentally and lost it and i wanted to Die. So here’s me trying to answer again! Lol
- First things first, if you’re not latinx do not write about the latinx experience. I’m really not trying to be an asshole, but no matter the amount of research, you’re never going to accurately portray latinx culture if you’re not latinx. You can write latinx characters and insert things about their homes and family and some cultural aspects, but do not write about the latinx experience.
- Just as an example, I’m not disabled, so I’m not going to go around writing about the disabled persons experience, but I will include disabled characters in my work.
- That being said, not all latinx culture is the same. Lance is Cuban, so don’t have him be using Mexican slang, last names, or traditions. Cuban people have their own cultura that’s unique to their own country, and if you wanna include little mentions of food or slang for example that’s unique to Cuba, do your research!
- When writing bilingual characters, you should definitely have a Spanish speaker help you and do not use google translate. We can tell when you do because it just…. sounds weird.
- Most bilingual people don’t switch, some do, but if you’re not bilingual I would recommend steering clear of it because you’re not gonna get it down.
- Here’s like an example of like a good language switch used by me constantly lol: Dónde estan mis… mis… cómo se dice… MY CAR KEYS! (I hate remembering accent marks I SUCK.)
- Bilingual people are more likely to speak their language with those they’re comfortable with/people who know at least a little Spanish in return. Most bilingual people I know only speak Spanish when it’s needed (i.e. speaking to family members/friends/people who only speak Spanish) or otherwise speak English to non-Spanish speakers. Also some people (like myself) can understand Spanish but can’t speak it, and sometimes only respond in English. There’s a bit of variation with bilingualism.
- Also there’s a way that monolingual people write bilingual people and uh… It’s really bad. These are just some examples but legit that’s really cringey for us.
- Having Lance speak in spanish to Keith because he knows he won’t understand whatever flirty/sexual thing he’s saying to him is REALLY fetishistic and overall such a shitty trope that this fandom loves to use.
- Also stop having Lance call Keith papí. It’s not a “sexy” thing for us. It’s literally what we call our dad, and we call our younger boys in our fam papíto (at least in Mexico, idk if they do that in Cuba tbh but the point still stands, you’re sexualizing an already sexualized language and it’s gross)
- Also be on the lookout for racist tropes that are common when people write Lance in voltron fics.
- Look out for the Latin Lover Trope (and because I’m bi and latinx I just wanna say having Lance be as flirty and sexually aggressive and flirting with everything that moves in fics than he is than canon ,which all he does is try and talk himself up, wink, or do fingerguns, is such a mix between latinx fetishization and biphobia considering Lance is popularly hc’d as Bi).
- Also the Aggressive Latinx Trope. Making Lance a bully or physically attacking Keith and making Keith his victim is so fucked up, because the most they do is taunt and tease each other. They’re not beating each other up, and they’re not calling each other slurs or other shit. Keith participates in taunting and teasing too, so pinning it all on Lance and painting him as an asshole is just eye rolly at best and colorist at worst.
- Don’t kill Lance off/torture him for Keith to angst over. We’ve had enough fics like that to last a lifetime lol. I hope I don’t need to explain why this is so shitty and racist.
- I’d also like to suggest reading these, because they’re very informative imo and helps with the overall writing of any Latinx character: [ x, x, x, x ]
Anyway that’s just legit the major points in the fandom that I’ve noticed is often done with Lance and his character. Definitely check out other blogs like @paladinsofcolor and @writingwithcolor for more advice/tips on how to not just portray Latinxs with respect, but also the other characters of color as well, because Lance isn’t the only one who suffers the racist tropes/stereotypes within fics. But considering this is a Lance centric question, I’ll keep it solely focused on Lance. I’m just one voice, and probably didn’t mention some other important aspects while writing a latinx character.
If any other latinxs want to add to this post with their own comments/ideas/opinions please do!